iPhone Anamorphic LensThough shooting with anamorphic lenses isn't anything new, the aesthetic it produces, the dimentionality and oval bokeh, has become more and more popular among independent filmmakers. Unfortunately, lenses and adapters are often too expensive for indies to utilize them -- unless of course you're a smartphone filmmaker. Moondog Labs, based out of Rochester, NY, has developed an affordable 1.33x anamorphic adapter for the iPhone 5 and 5S that produces the distinctive horizontal lens flares and wide aspect ratio of anamorphic shooting. And it's cheap! Continue on to find out more.

The iPhone natively shoots in 16:9, and like any anamorphic lens/adapter, Moondog's adapter, compresses a wider image onto the sensor, where then, in post, you stretch it out to give you the anamorphic look.

It's important to point out, however, that although the adapter excels at providing the wide aspect ratio, distortion, and horizontal lens flares, it does not provide the oval bokeh typical of anamorphic. Of course, considering that you're shooting with an iPhone, which doesn't provide the shallow depth of field needed to create significant bokeh, these limitations are to be expected.

To learn more about Moondog's anamorphic adapter, check out their Kickstarter campaign video below:

Here are the specs of the anamorphic adapter, taken right off of their Kickstarter campaign:

  • 1.33x afocal anamorphic adapter
  • Expands camera horizontal field of view (FOV) by 33%; vertical FOV is unchanged
  • Increases video aspect ratio from 16:9 to 2.4:1 (with software de-squeeze)
  • Increases still image aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 (with software de-squeeze)
  • Compatible with iPhone 5/5S
  • Precision all-glass optical design
  • Single layer anti-reflection coatings
  • Precision CNC-machined aluminum housing
  • Secure clamping attachment mechanism, compatible with screen protectors
  • Mass: 49.4 grams (1.74 oz)
  • Overall dimensions: 32 x 26 x 38.5 mm (21.32 max. extension from iPhone)
  • Patent pending design
  • Designed & assembled in the United States
  • Compatible with Glif™ tripod mount

Moondog is offering a few pledge options that will get your hands on one of their adapters ranging from $85 to $125. The earlier you pledge, the cheaper it's going to be. They plan to go into full production mode in February 2014, and ship the adapters to Kickstarter pledges by March 2014.

As far as post goes, any of the major NLEs work well with iPhone footage, but Moondog is working with the iPhone app FiLMiC Pro to create a workflow specifically geared toward "desqueezing" your footage:

For the best workflow, we are working with FiLMiC Pro to incorporate a 1.33x anamorphic de-squeeze in their first quarter 2014 release for full in-app compatibility with the Anamorphic Adapter.  To help you through the de-squeezing process, we will post simple instructions on our website and link to them here on our Kickstarter project page.

moondog adapter

Lens designer and optical engineer Scott Cahall founded Moondog Labs in 2007. He and his team have been working with the concept of creating an anamorphic adapter for the iPhone since 2011, testing several prototypes. To find out more about Moondog Labs, check out their website here. Also, take a look at their Kickstarter campaign to learn more about their anamorphic adapter.

What do you guys think about Moondog Labs' anamorphic adapter? Let us know in the comments.


[via HHH]